Today’s Parola del Giorno is the word sfibrante, which means grueling when describing a long or difficult wait.

See the adjective used below:

Un mese fa ho mandato al consolato tutti i moduli e i documenti per il visto ma ancora non ho ricevuto nessuna risposta. Devo dire che questa attesa è piuttoso sfibrante!

A month ago I sent all the forms and documents for the visa to the consulate, but I still have not gotten any response. I have to say this wait is rather grueling


Today’s Parola del Giorno is the adjective amabile, which — when discussing wine — can mean sweet or smooth. A wine is amabile when its sugar levels are between 12-45 grams per liter and leaves just a hint of sweetness in your mouth. A wine is considered sweet when the sugar levels exceed 45 grams per liter, typically dessert wines. According to the wine glossary that I found online, wines can be (going from less sugar to more sugar):

secco (dry) -> abboccato (smooth) -> amabile -> dolce (sweet) -> stucchevole (sugary)

See the adjective used below:

I vini che produce tuo nonno sono proprio buoni. C’è un rosso che mi piace molto, è proprio un vino amabile!

The wines your grandfather makes are really good. There is a red that I like a lot, it is a smooth wine.

*Some dictionaries might list abboccato and amabile as synonyms, but according to wine producers, this is an error. Un vino abboccato has less sugar than un vino amabile.


Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb evaporare. This verb literally means to evaporate, but it is often used by Italians to talk about excessive heat. As the summer heats up in the northern hemisphere for many of us, this verb will become a useful additional to your arsenal of verbs you will use to complain about the heat!

You might translate this as to boil or to swelter.

You will hear this expression more often in the south of Italy, but it would not be strange to hear it in Rome or even in Milan! Check out this video from Alma Edizioni on other weather expressions!

See the verb used below:

Che caldo che faceva l’estate scorsa, ti ricordi? Siamo evaporati dal caldo quel giorno a Lecce. Ci saranno stati 35 gradi!

How hot was it last summer, do you remember? We sweltered in the heat that day in Lecce. It must have been 35 degrees!


If you missed my email from earlier in the week, while I work on some writing projects and the last two volumes of “Piccole Guide,” I’m going to recycle some of the older content on the site.

Today’s Parola del Giorno is the verb intascare, which means to pocket something.

The past participle is intascatoavere is used in compound tenses.

See the verb used below:

Dopo mesi di preparazione, l’operazione clandestina contro l’amministratore comunale corrotto si stava per concludere! Non appena l’amministratore avesse intascato la tangente datagli dall’agente segreto, sarebbe stato arrestato.

After months of preparation, the undercover operation against the corrupt administrator for the comune was about to wrap up! As soon as he pocketed the bribe given to him by the undercover agent, he would be arrested.

Bad Year…

Hi all,

I am sure, as you are all aware, that 2020 did not start off on a good note with COVID-19 raging across the world.

COVID-19 really derailed my teaching duties last semester, and it upped my work level immensely. This left me with little free time.

I’ve been catching up on all of my teaching and student responsibilities, and I feel that I am finding some breathing room again for the web site.

Some updates:

  1. Apple has made the ability to publish ebooks to the iBookStore much easier. Because of that, I have published the first three volumes of the “Piccole Guide” series that resemble the print editions. For the remainder of the summer, each volume will be available for purchase for your iPad/iPhone/Macbook for just $3.99.

    You can find the links here:
  2. Volume 4 and 5 will be coming out this summer. Volume 4 will be a vocabulary guide (I hope with pictures) and Volume 5 will be a short guide to using Italian pronouns. Volume 6, if I have time, will also come out this summer. For those of you who subscribed, you will receive free PDF copies through Selz.
  3. There have been some changes at the company I use to print the books. Unfortunately, the price of the books has gone up since the change, but I am working to see about restoring the price levels before their site upgrades. What is happening now is that the prices have been raised to compensate for the fee paid to Amazon and other booksellers for carrying the books. I used to have a Lulu price and a price for Amazon (which was slightly higher because of the commission Amazon takes). I’ll work on getting that fixed.
  4. I’m going to program the site to republished the over 5000 entries/words of the day that have been posted previously while I decide on the next course of action for the site and how best to proceed.

Thank you all for your patience! I hope everyone is happy and healthy and continues to remain so through the rest of 2020 and beyond!

il bar

Un bar in Italian is not a bar like one might think in the American sense (or a pub if you’re British/Australia/etc.).

Un bar is more like a café, a place where you might go to get a quick espresso, a sandwich, something for lunch, pastry to go with your coffee, etc.

I can’t think of any town or city in Italy that doesn’t have at least one bar.

Here’s another video from Easy Italian (be sure to follow them on YouTube) about ordering coffee in Italian!

i buoni propositi

News Years, new resolutions!

Have many of us make resolutions at the start of the new year?

In Italian, i buoni propositi are New Year’s resolutions.

Check out this YouTube video (it’s subtitled in English, too, but the Italian should be easy to follow):

My favorite expression from the video: le schifezze (junk food).

Do you have any buoni propositi for the new year?

My usual ones:

  1. Lose weight (dimagrire)
  2. Eat less junk food (eliminare le schifezze)
  3. Graduate (laurearsi)
  4. Procrastinate less (procrastinare di meno)
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